Nonstick

Dark Waters (Todd Haynes, 2019)
I still don’t get what interested Haynes in this project — like Velvet Goldmine and Carol it has the hell designed out of it, but in a downbeat register that oddly never ends up as camp. It’s the familiar enough story of the downtrodden lawyer up against megacorp— DuPont’s poisoning of a town’s water supply through Teflon. Mark Ruffalo gives a reasonable enough performance, but too often we are told about his character rather than shown it, Tim Robbins meanwhile clearly relishes his setpiece ethical speeches as head of the law firm. Anne Hathaway is largely wasted, more as a reflection of Ruffalo’s character than someone in her own right. And in the end we only get resolution through captions, without the big setpiece court case we probably need for catharsis.

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